five cooking swaps

When cooking, keep in mind small changes can make a big impact on your heart health. 

High cholesterol is one of the major controllable risk factors for heart disease and stroke, with about 38% of American adults diagnosed with high cholesterol, according to the American Heart Association. It can be managed by getting levels regularly tested and making lifestyle changes like eating a heart-healthy diet:

1. Reduce saturated fat.
Select lean cuts of meat or opt for plant protein, limit processed meats, broil or bake rather than pan-fry meats and remove skin from poultry before cooking.
2. Eat more fish.
Fish can be fatty or lean, but it’s still low in saturated fat. Choose oily fish like salmon or trout, which are high in omega-3 fatty acids.
3. Use liquid oils in place of solid fats.
For roasting and sautéing, use non-tropical liquid vegetable oils like canola, safflower, soybean or olive instead of butter, lard or shortening.
4. Lower dairy fats.
Use low-fat, fat-free or non-dairy milk in lieu of whole milk or half-and-half.
5. Increase fiber and whole grains.
Add high-fiber vegetables to meals, serve fruit instead of juice and try brown rice instead of white.

Try the following (Un) Fried Chicken recipe and taste how these simple tips can help you eat healthfully without sacrificing taste:

Air Fryer Crispy (Un) Fried Chicken
(Courtesy of the American Heart Association)
Servings: 4

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp minced fresh parsley
1/2 tspn ground oregano
1/4 tspn pepper
1/4 tspn cayenne pepper (optional)
1/2-1 cup low-fat buttermilk
1/2 Tbsp hot pepper sauce (optional)
1/3 cup whole-wheat panko breadcrumbs
1/3 cup shredded or grated
Parmesan cheese
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 4 ounces each), visible fat discarded, flattened to 1/4-inch thickness, patted dry with paper towels
nonstick cooking spray

Preheat air fryer to 390ºF.

In a shallow dish or pie pan, whisk flour, parsley, oregano, pepper and cayenne together.

In a separate shallow dish or pie pan, whisk together buttermilk and hot sauce.

In a third shallow dish or pie pan, mix panko and Parmesan together.

Place dishes and large plate in a row. Dip chicken in flour mixture then buttermilk mixture then panko mixture, turning to coat at each step and gently shaking off excess. Using fingertips, gently press panko mixture so it adheres. Place chicken on plate. Cover and refrigerate 30 minutes.

Lightly spray chicken with nonstick cooking spray. Arrange chicken in single layer in air fryer basket, working in batches if needed. Cook 10 to 15 minutes, or until chicken is no longer pink in center and coating is golden brown, turning once halfway through and lightly spraying with nonstick cooking spray.


(Sponsored by the American Heart Association)

Latest posts by Westchester Senior Voice (see all)